Language used: English
👋 Are you thinking of starting freelancing?
As a freelancer, you need to have a unique skill set that sets you apart from the rest. This video will show you 8 must-have skills that every freelancer needs.
Watch and learn how to be a successful freelancer.
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8 must have skills for every freelancer
[00:00:00] If you’re a freelancer or business owner, the Article and Design podcast is a must listen. Hosted by experienced freelancer of over 10 years, Margaret Sulapas. Article and Design Podcast covers a range of topics that will help you run your business more effectively. You’ll learn about time management, marketing, pricing, and more.
[00:00:18] And because it’s made by freelancers for freelancers, you can be sure that the advice is relevant and. If you want to improve your business skills and knowledge, tune into Article and Design podcast every Saturday. Now listen up and enjoy the show.
[00:00:33] In the 21st century. An increasingly popular way to make a living is through freelancing.
[00:00:41] Hi, I’m Margaret s the host of the Article and Design podcast, and we are now back with a brand new episode called The Eight Must Have Skills for Every Freelancer. So I’m so excited with this one cuz this episode is part of my paradigm shift challenge. [00:01:00] And please, in order for you to make the most of the episodes that I’m doing, listen to the previous episodes I did, because it will help you really decide if freelancing is for you or probably if you’re starting freelancing, it’ll equip you with the skills and of course with the techniques or strategies that you need in order to be successful in this career. So watch the previous episodes I did, which is the 10 high paying jobs or skills as a freelancer that you can offer, and next is, of course, why freelancing may not be for you. In this episode, we’re going to share, or we’re going to discuss the eight must have skills for every freelancer. Unlike a traditional nine to five job or eight to five job.
[00:01:44] Freelancers, we all know that we can set hours and probably we can work from anywhere outside our home, right? However, this doesn’t mean that freelancing is easy, as I’ve been mentioning, and that freelancer’s job is nothing but a side hustle [00:02:00] with no feelings, no social skills needed. And you know what?
[00:02:04] You don’t need to communicate effectively or no communication is needed. That’s actually wrong. That’s not true. To succeed freelancers must possess many skills outside of their specialization. For example, if you’re a UX designer, outside of that one, you still need some skills that could help you boost the success of your freelancing career. So to understand what I’m trying to say right now is, let me tell you a quick story so that you could relate. So there’s there’s two best friends, Jane and Ann. So Jane and Ann are two college best friends. They both took up literature. They grow up and experience life together.
[00:02:43] They want to become writers, right? They found out about freelancing and delved into becoming a freelance writer, cuz why not? So Jane naturally communicates and connects with other people, even if she’s in the uni or in college, whereas Ann on the other [00:03:00] side is and is a bit shy. She won’t talk with anyone unless needed.
[00:03:05] And if she does, it’s more often than not, It’s in one sentence reply. Now there’s nothing wrong with both of them. Talent wise and is pretty, is a pretty decent writer than Jane, Jane can develop engaging articles. That’s true, but, Ann has that natural gift, for writing. But sometimes, and in the real world, it takes more than your talent or skill to succeed.
[00:03:31] So let’s continue the story. Jane’s natural ability to communicate and connect with others led her to find success as a freelance writer, her knack for understanding people and writing from the heart because she’ll listened right to what the clients wanted. And she’s making or writing her articles and blog post resonates with the readers or the target audience of the client.
[00:03:57] So now that is called effective [00:04:00] storytelling, and as her client’s audience grew, so did her income, of course. So today, Jane is a full-time six to seven figure writer traveling the world, thanks to her freelance writing, career and skills, and of course the communication skills that she has or she possess. So when she was starting as a freelance writer, she never imagined her soft skills would one day make her a career in writing, right?
[00:04:25] So they just tried freelance writing because they’re graduate of literature. So they thought, Okay, why don’t we just try this? But that’s exactly what happened. Thanks to her ability to connect with people, which is to communicate effectively, and of course her writing skills, right? She quickly become one of the most sought after writers in this industry.
[00:04:46] And she has never looked back. So you might ask me, Margaret, what happened to Ann? She is still a freelance writer, but unlike Jane, she’s having difficulty booking clients because she won’t answer calls [00:05:00] and talk with people and refuses to hone her soft skills, which is probably communication. In this industry guys, most of the time, clients will want to talk with potential hires. With this concern Ann realised, This is probably her problem. She recently enrolled herself on how to build confidence and communicate effectively. So that’s long or quick story. That story might be unrealistic for you. Margaret, this so unrealistic? No, it’s actually a very simple story. Okay, And that’s true. The idea there is your character or other soft skills always trumps
[00:05:39] As I’ve mentioned earlier, and is a pretty decent writer than Jane, right? But who became successful Jane? So you may be the most talented writer, but if you lack important skills like probably communication, accountability, or even other soft skills that you need, you’ll have a hard time in sustaining this freelance business.
[00:05:59] So you might [00:06:00] say, You know what? I’m not perfect. Maybe freelancing is not for me. I don’t possess this the specific soft skills, no, I don’t mean that You need to be super human and to posses everything. I myself, I’m lacking in other departments and other aspects of my soft skills. You must develop at least, the most critical skills in order for you to thrive in this industry.
[00:06:22] So what are those? In this episode, we will discuss at least eight important skills you may require. In order for you to be successful in freelancing. But before we start guys, I’d like to invite you to the wait list for our A&D Pro or Article and Design Pro membership. We are accepting members soon, so just go to www.articleanddesign.com and click get Access now to join the wait list.
[00:06:53] It is only $15 per month. Once we reopen and you can cancel any time, what is [00:07:00] A&D Pro in a nutshell? So basically it is a learning hub for freelancers, teaching you how to get paid often and set clients for life. So we’re not only teaching you to get paid more, but how to get paid often because real freelancers don’t starve.
[00:07:17] So I encourage everyone, especially aspiring freelancers or student freelancers to join us and we’ll help you earn a living that you can be proud of. So just go to www.articleanddesign.com and be an A&D PRO member, and I will see you inside very soon. Alright, let’s now discuss the eight important skills you may require in your freelance career.
[00:07:41] What is number one? Number one is time management. Wow. Surprise. Yes, of course. To be a successful freelancer. Time management is key guys. There are still a lot of freelancers who lack the time management skill. Completing projects on time and keeping clients happy will be [00:08:00] difficult without proper time management skills. If you’re having difficulty in this aspect, a few things can be done to improve your time management skills.
[00:08:08] So my suggestion is first, create a schedule and stick to it. I know it’s not easy, it’s as simple as that. So you can just try it, create a schedule and try to stick to it. This will help ensure that all tasks are completed on time. And then second, learn to say NO. Saying no is very underrated, so completing them all on time becomes difficult when taking on too many projects or too many requests or too many invitations from your friends.
[00:08:36] So learn to say no if it’s not HELL YEAH!, it is a no. So these are my top two suggestions and how you can improve your time management skills. And number two, skill is organization skills. Same with time management. Organization skills is a skill that you need to have I highly suggest this.. As a freelancer, it is [00:09:00] important that you need to have this, a strong organisational skills for you to be able to keep track of your projects, deadlines and finances.
[00:09:08] I’m trying to say. You know when your deadlines, you keep track of the projects, you keep track of your finances, your bills, et cetera, you can do a few key things to stay organised. As a freelancer, my suggestion is first, create a system for tracking your projects and deadlines and what you’re doing. Okay, so this could be something as simple as a list, right?
[00:09:30] A Word document or a spreadsheet that you update regularly, or my suggestion actually is to sign up for a project management app like Notion or Plutio.. So I personally use these tools, The Notion and Plutio. So you can click the link on the description box of this episode. They have a free version. It depends on your needs.
[00:09:53] Probably you need the paid one. But these tools are very powerful to help you organize your life and force your work. [00:10:00] So overall, being organized will help you to meet deadlines, avoid missed opportunities, and maintain and healthy work life balance. So the top two time management and organization skills is very important.
[00:10:13] Now, let’s go to number three. So you need to be resourceful, right? Let me rephrase that one. Research first before asking questions, what do I mean. So asking questions shows that you’re interested, Okay? I have no problem with that. I encourage freelancers, honestly, to ask questions if it’s unclear or they don’t understand anything about what the client is saying or even the project.
[00:10:38] So I don’t want freelancers to say yes to something if they don’t know the first thing about it. So guys, if you don’t know and you don’t understand what the client is saying or what the other person is saying. Just say, Hey who do, what do you mean by this? Because saying yes to something that you don’t know about, this is a very dangerous advice.
[00:10:58] So in today’s world, [00:11:00] you and your clients must be on the same page. However, asking common questions like common sense questions, I mean, or questions that can be answered by research can be a bit annoying to some, especially clients. What do I mean? You need to Google search like a pro? So this is probably the most basic research skill that you need, but it’s also the most important.
[00:11:26] If you can’t find what you’re looking for with a Google search, you will not be able to find it anywhere most of the time because most of the things that we want to know, are found on Google. So I suggest doing your research first if you have questions, and when you still haven’t found a clear answer.
[00:11:43] Or are not sure about it, then this the time you may ask and clarify the client. And there’s nothing wrong if you don’t know something, please. All right. So that is very important. Research or be resourceful first before asking questions.. Number four is writing [00:12:00] skills. Wow. Margaret. I’m not a writer. Okay? You don’t need to be a writer.
[00:12:04] This is, again, this is a must have skill. This is not like a prescription skill, okay? It is beneficial that you have a let’s say just a decent writing skill, okay? After all, your livelihood or our livelihood depends on our ability to communicate, including writing. If there’s anything I suggest that we freelancers strive for, honestly, is the ability to write clearly and concisely.
[00:12:30] Why? Because it is important for us freelancers who often have to communicate with clients who may not be familiar with the technical jargons and et cetera. Let me tell you a story. I received a sales call last time cuz I thought it was a call from my medical appointment. So I hurriedly answer it. Long story short, this is what happened.
[00:12:50] I answered the call and it was a sales closer from the Philippines. I’ve been in this business for over 10 years and I believe that I can sense one if I talk with one like a sales [00:13:00] closer. So here she goes selling the company’s SEO services. And mentioning about the pain points of my my client’s website and seo, et cetera.
[00:13:10] She’s lucky because I understand those things, but what if I don’t? What if I’m a non-techie and a non-designer business owner? So can you close the deal by speaking or by mentioning all this Technical jargons about seo? Okay. Frankly, no, you can’t. You don’t. You don’t. You can’t close that deal.
[00:13:30] And even if I know what those technical words mean, I’m actually quite disappointed with how the sales goal was going. All right, I’m sorry in advance if you’re listening or if you happen to come across this podcast, if you remember, Hey, I was the one who called Margaret. Okay. Honestly, you know that you need more training, right?
[00:13:50] You know that, and this is a constructive criticism, so please take this professionally. And number five. All right, marketing in line with the sales call that I [00:14:00] mentioned earlier. Here’s one must-have skill. Every freelancer or business owner should know, I believe, right? Is marketing. THE how to market yourself cuz nobody will do this for you.
[00:14:11] Unless you hire someone to do this for you and pay. But what I’m trying to say is, as freelancers, our main marketer is ourselves. As a freelancer, marketing is key to finding new clients and keeping the ones that you have, because marketing is a professional relationship. I don’t want to dive deeper into this one, but you get the idea that without marketing it’s difficult for you to sustain your freelance business.
[00:14:36] So I teach how to market yourself as a freelancer in my courses, guys in article and design. If you are a Filipino, it is called Filipino Freelancer’s Marketing Bible. Or if you prefer a full English course, if you don’t understand Filipino, I have the English version which is found in our A&D Pro membership.
[00:14:55] It is called the Core lesson. Build Your Freelance Career in Seven [00:15:00] Days. Okay? Just go to our website www.articleanddesign.com and check it out for yourself and see and learn how to do marketing. All right, number six, be a good listener. All right. As I’ve mentioned, marketing, freelancing, it’s not about us.
[00:15:19] We’re not the hero in this. The hero is our clients and what our main goal is to understand what is the problem and we will solve it. Or probably we will prescribe a solution. We diagnose a problem first by being a good listener. So listening is just as essential as talking when it comes to building our freelance business.
[00:15:42] You need to hear what others are saying and understand their needs as simple as that. In this way, guys, you can offer your services based on the existing problems. So you diagnose first by listening. That’s the time that you could prescribe a solution. So [00:16:00] by being a good listener, this will also help you make better connections and of course, build stronger relationship.
[00:16:06] Going back to my story earlier, which is the sales closer from the Philippines, she was pushing me to do seo. The point here is that she didn’t even ask me what is my problem? All right? What is the existing problem of the business? It’s actually my client’s business, right? So you get what I mean. So don’t push your service, don’t push what you think, right?
[00:16:31] Is the client’s problem. You have to listen carefully first before you prescribe. We’re down to the last two. Eight must have skills. For every freelancer. So what is number seven? Number seven is of course, self-promotion. In line with the marketing I mentioned earlier. Marketing can be a lot of things.
[00:16:50] Okay. It could be paid marketing, it could be written, networking, et cetera. So I just separated this one because this is really important. One important thing that [00:17:00] you must possess, especially at the start of your career, is the ability to self-promote. To promote yourself, cuz as I’ve said, nobody will do this for us, right?
[00:17:10] So don’t worry about what others will comment on why you keep on sharing. Hey, Oi, why is this Margaret person keep on posting something on Facebook, on a LinkedIn, Instagram about her business? Don’t worry about the one. It is your hustle, guys. You have the permission to use your page, whatever, however you want it to help your business.
[00:17:32] Don’t be sorry about working. As a freelancer, it is essential that we need to know how to promote ourselves. The key here is to be confident in when you’re doing self-promotion. Confidence is key when promoting yourself because people will be more likely to hire you if they believe in your abilities because you also believe in yourself.
[00:17:53] And after that, once you got the attention of the people or your target audience, you have to be responsive. What do I [00:18:00] mean?. When a potential client contacts you, you have to respond promptly. Before we proceed to the last skill, guys, I’d like to mention again about our A&D Pro. We’re accepting new members very soon in our A&D Pro.
[00:18:15] So please go to our website, www.articleanddesign.com. And click Get access now to join the wait list. So it is only $15 per month and you can cancel any time. So in a nutshell, what is A&D pro? It is a learning hub for freelancers, teaching you how to get paid often and set clients for life.
[00:18:37] Basically, we’ll teach you how to have a sustainable income in freelancing. So guys, just go to www.articleanddesign.com. And join the wait list, and I’ll see you soon in A&D Pro. Number eight, which is very important if you’re following my story with Jane. This is what helped her to become a successful freelance writer.
[00:18:59] [00:19:00] It is communication skills. We all know that freelancing is rapidly globalizing, right? So there’s need for clear and concise communication than ever before. Margaret, isn’t it enough that they know how to write? Yes. Along with writing communication verbally is also important because what I know this, and based on my experiences, when you book a bill or an invoice that is worth at least, probably $500 at least a worth of service, the client may most of the time request to have a voice call with you or a video call with you.
[00:19:35] So whether you’re a freelancer or working in a traditional office setting, being able to communicate effectively, of course, with your clients or coworkers is very essential. I have seen. First hand, how communication skills can greatly help a freelancer to be successful. I myself, right? I tried to practice an effective communication when [00:20:00] talking with clients and booking sales.
[00:20:02] So when I first started, honestly guys, it’s not perfect. When I first started in 2011, I struggled a lot. I don’t know what the right words to say, and I’m afraid to talk with clients. And most of my clients are really busy, so they don’t, they don’t give clear instructions.. So I’m dumbfounded all the time. So I quickly realized probably a few months during my freelance career that I realized that I needed to improve my communication skills.
[00:20:28] I’m still not perfect right now, guys. I know that I can still improve, but I am really way better than before. All right? And having a communication skill was so pivotal for my success in this freelancing. So I’m not a communication expert or a language trainer, and I’m not going to dive into this one.
[00:20:48] So please do your own research and continue to improve on this. Personally what I did is I listened to audio books. I read books about effective communication and I practice every [00:21:00] day. I watch tv. I listen to accents that are hard to understand and I try to express myself whenever I read some book.
[00:21:08] Communication guys a very helpful skill if you really wanted to be successful in your freelancing business. So there you go. These are the eight must have skills that can help you in your freelance business. Call it soft skills, whatever you want. I suggest that based on my many years of experience, these skills are really helpful.
[00:21:30] You don’t need to learn all these things overnight since there’s no such thing as that, right? Learning is a process and you continue to improve when you do it consistently. To wrap it up, the eight skills are one time management two organization skills. Be resourceful or research before asking questions.
[00:21:49] Number four is writing skills. Number five is marketing. Number six is being a good listener. Number seven is self-promotion, and number eight is communication skills. [00:22:00] So I hope this helps you and let me know from these skills. Let me know the comments. on YouTube or probably on Spotify however you consume this episode.
[00:22:09] What do you think is, or probably are your weaknesses and strengths among the skills? So what do you think are you’re good at? Or probably what are the things that you wanted to develop? Please share it with me sharing the comments below and let’s give some insights and discussion. So thank you once again.
[00:22:27] So this is Margaret Sulapas, the host of the Article and Design Podcast, a freelancer for over 10 years. I hope this episode helps. And I will see you in the next one. Bye.
[00:22:40] Thank you for listening to our podcast. We hope you enjoy the show and found content helpful, insightful, or entertaining. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, guys, please feel free to reach out to us on our Discord, YouTube or Facebook platforms.
[00:22:55] Just search for Article and Design. If you wanna go to the next level, check [00:23:00] out our website, www.articleanddesign.com and be an A&D Pro member. Until next time, you superfreelancers. Stay grounded. Bye.
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